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Talks on goods trade pact with China slated for Sept. 10 (update)
Central News Agency
2014-08-28 10:34 PM
Taipei, Aug. 28 (CNA) Taiwan and China will hold talks on a cross-strait agreement on trade in goods next month, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Cho Shih-chao said Thursday. The talks, slated for Sept. 10 in Taiwan, will be the first of their kind in about 10 months, he said. Negotiations were supposed to resume by the end of August but were postponed at the request of Beijing, which said it had not had enough time to prepare adequately. The delayed talks come despite the deadlock in Taiwan's Legislature over ratifying the trade-in-services agreement, which was signed in China back in June 2013. The legislative review of the agreement was derailed by opposition lawmakers and a three-week student occupation of the Legislature's main chamber on worries that the pact could hurt Taiwan's interests and allow greater Chinese influence over Taiwan. Both the services and goods pacts are follow-ups to the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement of 2010. Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng of the ruling Kuomintang -- which holds 64 seats in the 113-seat Legislature -- told reporters that it was too early to say if the services pact can be passed when the next session begins in September. In response, Economics Minister Duh Tyzz-jiun noted that several bills are pending on the legislative floor and said that he respects the arrangements made by the Legislature. Meanwhile, Vice Minister Cho also spoke on the importance of pursuing regional free trade blocs in addition to individual agreements. During a speech at a Taipei conference on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, he stressed that joining trade blocs means Taiwan could avoid having to undertake negotiations on separate trade pacts with other countries one-by-one. (By Yang Shu-min, Milly Lin and Elaine Hou)
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